Quotes & Notes: Wartburg

In the quotes section of Quotes and Notes, Greg Brunner makes fun of teammate Jeff Horner and compliments Wartburg. In the notes section, we break down the good, bad and ugly of the 2-game exhibition season and focus in on an unexpected tough game against the Division III Knights on Wednesday.


Greg Brunner

So, are you ready for Monday?

Yeah, I'm ready to get to the ones that actually count. I'm ready to get going here and start my senior campaign.

I guess Jeff took a little bit of a header there.

I was joking around with him. I said now I'm going to be the cute one. After three years of living his shadow, I guess I get to be the cute one finally. We were kidding around about that. He always made fun of me whenever I got the black eyes and stuff. I finally got to pick on him.

Did that play kind of show you how hard you had to work against Wartburg?

They played extremely hard. We knew they were going to come in and play that way. I give a lot of the credit to the program. I know a lot of those guys. I really appreciated their effort. They came in and made us work for everything we got. That's exactly what we needed before we start real competition.

Coach said the 3-2 zone gave you some trouble because you guys hadn't worked on it.

We haven't worked on it that much. We've been really concentrating on man and just our defensive principles. They made us a little bit stagnant in the first half. We finally attacked it in the second half.

Greg, in the first half, you scored 28 points and had 12 turnovers and 40 percent shooting against a D-III school. Does that bother you or concern you?

It was just one of those situations where like I said we hadn't gotten used to playing against a 3-2 zone. We didn't shoot the ball very well. But if you look at our defense, we still held a team under 50 points. And they shot the ball pretty well tonight. It's one of those situations that you live with it and then you've just got to move on from it.

Can you talk about the increased size of the student section?

They've done a great job. We're hoping that we can get as many as we can. We have a lot of guys from Iowa that put a lot of time in and try to represent the program well. The more fans that we have in here, the better support we have, the better chance we have of winning. Me and Jeff, we've been here for four years. We've been born and raised Iowa Hawkeyes. I've always been in love with the Hawkeyes. I'd like to have a lot of people in here rooting for us to make sure we have the season that we want.

ROTATION STATION: Iowa rolled out the same starting lineup of Horner, Henderson, Haluska, Brunner and Hansen. Thomas and Thompson came off the bench first, replacing Horner and Hansen. Freeman, Reed and Horner made up the second substitution group. Seth Gorney served as the 10th man.

Alford used a very similar rotation last Thursday against Brock. It varied somewhat Wednesday due to the coach's displeasure with some of his veterans, who appeared to be in a bit of a fog during the first half.

SLOW MOTION: Wartburg frustrated the Hawkeyes for much of the night by making them play basketball in the halfcourt. The Knights worked the shot clock on offense and used a variety of zone defenses. They packed it in against Iowa's all-Big Ten power forward Greg Brunner.

The Knights forced the Hawkeyes into 12 first-half turnovers.

THE GOOD: Thomas looks ready to have a strong senior year. He's active, goes to the boards like a man possessed and has improved his offensive skills.

Tony Freeman adds a quickness element that the Hawkeyes' have been lacking since the graduation of Chauncey Leslie. He plays excellent on the ball defense and is lightning quick off of the dribble.

Horner and Brunner looked good last week, but both struggled on Wednesday in the first half. It was obvious that Wartburg targeted the seniors as the players to stop. The Knights won't be the last team to try that, so the Hawkeyes better adjust.

THE BAD: Hansen looks like he's worried to make a mistake. He plays tentative and as a result played poorly in both pre-season games. Alford yanked the senior out after just two minutes of the second half and replaced him with Thomas.

Adam Haluska struggled to get into the flow on offense during the exhibition season. He seemed unsure of his role. Alford pulled him off of the floor early in the second half Wednesday and replaced him with Thomson.

Iowa didn't push its lead to double figures until just under 10 minutes remained in the second half.

THE UGLY: The first-half effort by Iowa on Wednesday was below. The Hawkeyes looked like a team that thought they could just show up and whip a Division III opponent.

They committed 12 first-half turnovers and gave up five offensive rebounds. Iowa coaches couldn't go beyond their normal 10-man rotation until there was 1:30 minutes left in the game. That's when Looby got in. Hopefully, the Hawkeyes learned a lesson about going hard every night.

TIP-INS: Wartburg shot out to a 5-2 lead with the help of a couple of Hawkeye turnovers. Iowa reeled off the next seven points to hold a 9-5 advantage at the first media timeout…The Knights responded out of the timeout with a 9-0 spurt of their own…Iowa came back with a 10-0 run…Horner was taken into the locker room with 6:31 remaining the first half after diving for a loose ball and knocking out a tooth. He was bleeding from his mouth and people were searching the floor for his tooth…Wartburg brought quite a few fans with it. Probably 20 percent of the arena was wearing orange…The Carver crowd also was getting in shape for the season, many leaving halfway through the second half…Iowa outscored Wartburg 32-12 in the last 11 minutes…The Knights grabbed 15 offensive rebounds.

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